If You Like Jennifer Aniston, You Won’t Like This Article About Reverb

March 12, 2013

Erin McKean, the founder of the self-organizing online dictionary Wordnik, told me at the end of our first interview back in 2011  that she would like her company to become a verb, the way Google has. When you’re telling someone to look up a word, you’d say “Wordnik that.’”

Well, McKean has gotten her wish, but not exactly in the way she meant. In January the startup relaunched itself under a new name, Reverb, which has “verb” in it and is itself a verb.

It’s a typical bit of word fun for the company, which is built around McKean’s voracious interest in words, definitions, and concepts—she’s the former editor-in-chief of the New Oxford American Dictionary—and is now expanding beyond its automated dictionary to offer new kinds of services to publishers.

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